Saturday, December 31, 2011

50 Follower Drawing - Gardemarin WINNER

I just reached 50 followers! Yay. As promised, I did a random drawing from all my followers to win a $10 gift-certificate to the online book retailer of your choice (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ARe, etc). The only requirement is that they sell gift-certificates.

CONGRATULATIONS to gardemarin. You are the winner! Email me at kchayes54@gmail.com within 48 hrs to claim your prize and let me know where you want a gift-certificate to. If gardemarin does not respond, I will hold another drawing in 48 hrs.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday First Kiss - Midnight Kiss

The Great Hall was decked out as beautifully as I had ever seen it. From my vantage point in one of the private balconies I watched over the hundreds of dancers in their New Years’ finery. Full skirts in every color of the rainbow whirled around as the ladies wove around and about each other. Their male counterparts were outfitted in every style of fashionable evening dress you could imagine as they danced the night away. Black jackets with tails, brocade waistcoats, each more intricate than the last, pristine white gloves, fitted trousers and polished boots, all glittering with falls of rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and diamonds.

From high above the crowds they appeared as dolls dancing for my amusement, the sound of their laughter drifting up like it came from a different place altogether. The light from a thousand candles in crystal chandeliers caused everything to glitter and glow. A world apart, an imagining from a story book.

It was stunning.

And lonely.

I was hiding out in my balcony. I could not bear the thought of watching Geraint kissing someone else after the midnight dance. Legend, and the mother’s of every marriageable young person, said that whoever you kiss at the New Years’ Ball of your eighteenth year will be the person you will wed. Legend can go to hell but kissing someone at that time was paramount to a proposal.

And Ger had been mooning about for weeks claiming he had someone to kiss this year. His eighteenth year. My heart already felt as broken as I could handle. A first hand view of whoever Ger was kissing would be too much.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Blurb of the Week - Admit One

I am back to my regularly scheduled programming! Which means it's time for a Blurb of the Week!!! This week's book was picked for me as a part of the December Comfort Zone Challenge over at the goodreads M/M Romance Group.

Admit One By Jenna Hilary Sinclair


Blurb

When high school teacher Tom Smith meets Kevin Bannerman at a gay club, he violates his own rule: one-night stands only. But when the weekend is over, he walks away, reminding himself that he lives a deeply closeted life for painful, compelling reasons. He keeps his secrets, his heart, and the cause of his crippled arm to himself, but almost immediately he bitterly regrets leaving Kevin. Months later, while Tom serves as a reluctant assistant director for his school's production of Rent, he fears that the show's same-sex love angel will somehow out him

Protests against the play begin, one of the students is harassed, and during a parents' meeting, Tom encounters Kevin again. This time Tom can't fight the attraction between them, and he and Kevin begin a tentative relationship. Within Rent's message of acceptance and support, as as local churches oppose teh play, Tom struggles to find the strength to admit one man into his heart.

You can find Admit One for $6.99 at Dreamspinner Press.

***
I just started this book today and so far I am really enjoying it! Check back this time next week for a review! Also, I will resume Friday First Kisses on Friday so look forward to that. =)


Monday, December 26, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Extravaganza Final Post!

I just want to say thank you to all the wonderful authors who participated and gave their time and their eBooks to make this event AWESOME!!!

Also, thanks to all of you who checked back regularly, commented, answered trivia, and generally had a good time. That's what this was all about. :D

Finally, I did not reach 50 followers so I won't be holding a drawing today. But y'all are so great that whenever I do reach 50 followers, I will hold a drawing for a $10 giftcard then.

Just to recap:

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Piper Vaughn to kick off all the fun!

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Lily Sawyer guest blogging on my blog!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Seafood Chowder

This is short Christmas interlude with Job and Chaz from my story Broken. It will not make sense if you haven't read that short story, which is free for download from goodreads or smashwords. It takes place about a month before the epilogue or about 5 months after the story proper. Hope you enjoy!

Seafood Chowder
“But you know I don’t do well with families, Chaz.”

"Yeah well, this isn’t your crazy shit family and it’s Christmas dinner for Christ’s sake.”

"Couldn’t you just come over after and we could do gifts then?”

He got this incredulous look on his face like I had completely missed the point. I was baffled. I’d met his sister once, when I went over to his apartment while she was there. That wasn’t so bad but the idea of meeting his whole family all at once was terrifying. I didn’t see why I had to go over there just to eat some food and exchange gifts. We could do that just as well here, alone.

“Fine.” He said. And walked out.

I stared after him, not really sure what exactly had just happened. He had never walked out before. We had fought and yelled many times but he had never just…given up. My chest tightened a bit at that thought. Was that a “fine, see you on Christmas” or a “fine, I never want to see you again” or some other version I couldn’t even think of?

I scrubbed my hand over my face and groaned. I had no idea how to be in a relationship. I am not even sure how I got into this one. But the sight of him walking out that door, not sure if he would be coming back through, that was almost as terrifying as Christmas dinner with the family. And hell if I knew how that had happened.

Two days later Chaz still wasn’t talking to me. That fear had settled in my gut like a stone. The fear that I would never see him again, never feel that little jump in my chest when he walked into the room or see that smile he got when he was playing with Lucy, Chloe, Charlie and Oscar or get to pick a fight with him just to watch him get all angry and beautiful.

Those thoughts churned in my head hour after hour as I made deliveries at work, as I fed the kittens, as I tried to sleep, until I realized I had to do something to make it better.

And I had no clue what.

***

It took me another day to gather the courage to make the call. I had no friends, no one to talk to help me figure this out. So I needed to call Val, Chaz’s sister. She was bubbly and frightening in the way that all 16 year old girls are but otherwise seemed pretty nice. I have no idea how her number ended up in my phone but there it was. A beacon of hope.

I dialed.

“Hi Job!!” She answered cheerfully.

“Hi Val.” I think I sounded like I was confronting a mob boss with a gun to my head, not my boyfriend’s 16 year old sister. I think I would have preferred the mob boss.

Somehow, over the next 15 minutes, Val dragged the whole story out of me. She seemed sympathetic but definitely agreed that I had some major making up to do. To that end I was instructed to meet her at her house after work that day.

As I drove through the typical suburban neighbor my palms started to sweat. The row after row of cookie cutter houses differing only in color was so much like where I had grown up that I felt like I was 15 years old again and heading home after soccer practice.

This was why I didn’t want to do the whole family experience.

I pulled up in front of Chaz’s parents house. It was red brick with white trim and shutters on the windows. There were two cars in the driveway and the front door had been thrown open before I even got out of my car.

Val was calling to me to come inside and I woodenly followed her instructions. She led me into the kitchen. It smelled of sugar cookies and cinnamon. There was a middle aged woman pulling a tray out of the oven. She had her gray streaked brown hair pulled up messily on top of her head. She wore a pair of loose pants and patterned Christmas themed shirt with an apron over top of it all. She put the tray on the counter and turned to look at me. Chaz’s eyes stared out at me from a slightly wrinkled but joy filled face that was smeared with flour.

She looked nothing like my mother who always had her blond hair pulled tightly back from her face, wore perfectly ironed dresses and would never be caught dead with flour smeared across her cheek. But, as Chaz’s mom smiled at me in greeting, she looked exactly like my mother, or at least like the mother I had thought I had. My heart started beating a wild staccato in my chest and I broke out into a full body sweat.

I couldn’t be here.

The last time I had thought I was part of family, it had broken me. I think I started to hyperventilate a bit but those next few minutes were kind of a blur as I lost myself in my panic. Eventually Val’s calming words broke through my consciousness.

“You okay, honey?” I heard from my other side. I felt Chaz’s mom, Cynthia… I think, put her hand on my shoulder. I was mortified. I can’t believe I'd had a break down in front of complete strangers. If I didn’t love Chaz, I think I would have…

Wait. Back track. Love.

Fuck, I was in love with Chaz.

I tensed up in preparation for panic attack number two.

It never came.

“I love him,” I whispered to myself with wonder. It had been so long since I loved someone that I wasn’t really sure what it felt like. Or what I was supposed to do with it. But I felt a grin spread across my face as I whispered, “I love him,” again.

“What’s that, honey?” Cynthia asked me, looking a little concerned that I was muttering to myself after having practically collapsed in her kitchen.

I looked up at her, still smiling, and declared, “I love him and I need to get him back.”

“Get him back?” I realized then, that I had never introduced myself.

I held out my hand. “I’m Job. I was stupid and Chaz is mad at me and Val helped me figure out a plan to fix it but I need your help.” I stopped there realizing I was babbling as bad as Chaz did when he got nervous.

She nodded and stood up, grabbing the wooden mixing spoon sitting nearby on the counter. She waved it at me, admonishing, “I’ll help but you better not hurt him again.”

***

“Hi Chaz. It’s Val. I’m just calling to say that you had better listen to whatever Job says in the message he is about to leave.”

I had just gotten out of the shower and noticed that a message had come through. I listened, mystified. When had Job talked to my sister? Why had Job talked to my sister? It had been 4 days since I had seen him and I was still mad at him. I couldn’t belive he wouldn’t go to Christmas dinner with me. I was almost ready to give up. He didn’t seem nearly as invested in the relationship as I was. I was falling fast and I really didn’t need another heartbreak right now.

I stared at the phone as I thought about my sister’s message. I was still staring as a text message arrived in my inbox.

Come to dinner tomorrow. My place, 7pm. Please.

I stared some more. He must have talked to Val at some point or she wouldn’t have called me. Which means he had made an effort. I still wasn’t sure where I would let it go, but I texted back, Okay.

I was more nervous than I probably should have been as I knocked on Job’s door. When he opened it I just stared in shock for a moment. He was in his typical jeans and blue work shirt. But over it was an apron. An apron that looked suspiciously like one of my mother’s aprons. He opened the door a little wider and waved me in like a butler or a hostess at a fancy restaurant.

Even as he was shutting the door I was having trouble comprehending what exactly was going on here. Job had set the table with real plates and silverware and lit candles. Something delicious smelling was cooking on the stove. It looked like a tornado had hit the kitchen.

“What is all this?” I asked, motioning around the room in general at the table and the chaos in the kitchen.

He looked nervous all of the sudden. “It’s…umm…Seafood Chowder. Your mom said it was your favorite. She even taught me how to make it.”

I boggled at that. “My mom?”

“Yeah, she was really nice, even when I pretty much had a panic attack in her kitchen.”

I was still having trouble catching up. “Panic attack?”

He looked nervous again.

“I think you better start from the beginning,” I told him.

As he was telling me everything he had done and been through the last few days, I felt myself grow lighter and lighter. My heart beat sped up and I couldn’t keep the smile off my face. Job cared. He cared enough to call my sister and talk to my mom and learn to cook my favorite thing and the rest didn’t matter anymore.

I shut him up by kissing him. This time it took a few seconds for his brain to catch up to events. Then he pulled me close and wrapped his arms around me. I didn’t even realize we were moving until he slammed me back against the wall in the kitchen and started to devour my mouth like a man who had been starving for it. For me. Then I stopped thinking and just let myself be taken over by our passion.

Entirely too soon, we were interrupted by the incessant beeping of the cooking timer. I would have said screw food in order to screw Job, but he pulled back and looked at me with this ridiculously proud grin on his face. He dragged me over to the table and sat me down.

“It might not be as good as your mom’s but she did tell me her secret ingredient.” Job said with a nervous smile as he sat my bowl down in front me and turned to go and sit at the other side of the table.

I just smiled at him not believing he had gone through all this trouble just for me. Sometimes it amazed me how far Job had come from the taciturn moody loner I had met five months ago and then the words popped out before I even realized I was going to say them.

“I love you, Job.”

I heard his breath catch and saw his shoulders tense as he turned back around to face me. Shit. I was going to scare him off again. But then I saw his eyes. They were as open as I had ever seen them and they shone with a hope that was almost heartbreaking.

“Yeah?” he asked, barely in a whisper. He gave me courage. I stood up from my chair and walked the half step to be standing right in front of him. I looked him right in those deep wonderful eyes, ”Yeah, Jacob Obadiah Bain. I love you.”

He wrapped me in his arms again and seemed to collapse on me a bit. He buried his head in my neck and whispered in my ear, “I love you, too, Chaz.”

And that was the best Christmas present I could have gotten.

The End...for now.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

WINNERS - Sarah McCallum and Courtney!!!

The trivia winner is SARAH McCALLUM!!! She is the only one who answered ALL the trivia questions (so she had more entries!!!) 

Sarah you have won a copy of Megan Derr's The Christmas Package!!! Email me within 72 hrs at kchayes54@gmail.com to claim your prize.

The winner of today's drawing for a customized ficbit is COURTNEY!!! I will email to figure out the details of what you want. 

CONGRATS to both of you!!! 




Friday, December 23, 2011

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

ME!!!


Since all my guest authors have been answering my holiday profile questions, I'll answer them now too!


What, if any, winter holiday do you celebrate?
I celebrate Christmas. I am pretty religious and advent is my favorite season. I love the anticipation and the idea of joyful and active preparation. I love the songs and the lights and the decorations and hanging out with my family!


What is my favorite family holiday tradition/recipe/story/etc?
I don't think that I have a favorite tradition. I guess the most enduring thing is that I end up visiting my mom at some time during the Christmas season and whenever it is that we get together ends up being Christmas for us. I am also a bit of a wrapping fiend. 


What is my favorite holiday story?
I absolutely love Amy Lane's If I Must as well as Jane Seville's A Very D Christmas (Jack and D are definitely in my top ten m/m couples).


What is my favorite thing that I have written?
I am particularly attached to Broken. Although, my favorite bit is the flashback to Danny and Charlie. I am currently working on their story and it is probably what I like the best so far. It is really hard to write though because I know how it will end so I generally end up in tears after a writing session.


For today's giveaway, I am doing a drawing for a custom written ficbit. You can either create two characters for a Friday First Kiss OR you can pick two characters I have written about previously and pick a situation to put them in and I will write it. Just remember that I will be posting it here on my blog and I try to keep that SFW. =)


If you have signed up for the whole event, you are already signed up for this drawing. If you haven't then you can comment below for an entry. Entries close 12/24 at 6 pm EST.


Also, this is your LAST CHANCE to answer trivia questions! You can find today's answer by exploring this blog. I am reopening all previous trivia questions so if you missed one you can email me at kchayes54@gmail.com with answers from any of the trivia questions I have already posted as well as the one below for one entry per answer in the mystery book drawing. DO NOT post your answers in the comments.


Trivia Question: How many Friday First Kisses have I written and, if you have read them, which one is your favorite?


And now I am going to share a bit of my Charlie and Danny story. It is technically a prequel to Broken but you will get it better if you have read Broken already. BEWARE, this story is not going to be an HEA or even an HFN. The Charlie and Danny flashback in Broken is of Danny's death. I just can't stop these two talking in my head so here you go:


Charlie and Danny Excerpt:



I knocked on the door and opened it slowly when I heard a muffled “come in” from the other side. I let Junior enter in front of me. You can always tell the animal lovers right away. No matter how sick they are, their eyes light up like Christmas as soon as they catch sight of Junior. 

The woman grinning at Junior from the hospital bed must have been eighty years old if a day. Her skin was sagging in deep wrinkles around her face and there was something very off about her coloring. In the instant before she saw Junior, a look of resigned determination crossed her face, like nothing good could come through that door but she would deal with whatever did come through with dignity.

But as soon as she caught sight of Junior, that look vanished as quickly as a cat in a thunderstorm. She glowed with joy. That’s what I love about doing this. I am so shy that I could never strike up a conversation with a random stranger. Much less a conversation that would supposedly make them feel better about being in the hospital. But with Junior in tow, I barely have to talk. Of course I introduced myself and explained about Pets for Patients but then I just got to sit there while Junior brought a little joy into her dreary day.

After about ten minutes, I excused us and looked down at my list of patients. There was one more patient on the Oncology floor that had been approved for a visit. Daniel MacGregor, Room 24. I had never been to visit him before, and a lot of the oncology patients were frequent flyers as the nurses liked to put it. Just from the name I imagined some stooped old Scotsman with yellow teeth from smoking his pipe and a whiskey roughened voice. Don’t know why. But there you go.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. When I opened the door it was to find a teenage kid in the bed, wrestling with some sort of tubes or wiring that had gotten tangled. From what I could tell he had average length dark blond hair. I couldn’t really see much else of him. Until he wriggled further around still trying to right whatever was wrong with all the stuff attached to him. Then his hospital gown slipped open and I could see all of the back of him.

“Umm… Can I help you with something over there?” I said hesitantly, trying not to look at his naked butt, but not really having anywhere else to look. He flipped back over so he could face me and I was struck first by the supremely annoyed look on his face and second by the intensity of his hazel eyes. I realized he was probably a little older than I thought he was to begin with, maybe 18 or 19 years old.

“Yeah, my remote control box cord got tangled with my oxygen tubing and now I can’t manage either.” He said this as if this was a tragedy that could possibly bring about the end of the world. It was all I could do not to laugh. I walked over to the other side of his bed and saw the remote control had fallen off the bed between the rails and had somehow been wrapped around tubing that went to his nasal cannula. I bent over and untangled the mess, putting the box back on the bed in his reach and letting him readjust the nose pieces of the oxygen comfortably.

“Apocalypse averted,” I said cheerfully. He just sort of stared at me a bit. Crap. I shouldn’t have said that out loud. We stood there staring awkwardly at each for what was in reality probably a couple of seconds but seemed like an eternity.

Finally, he broke the silence and dully asked, “So, who are you and what part of me do you want to poke?”

Be on the look out...hopefully I will have this done before spring and sub it out! I'll keep you posted.

Also, don't forget to become a follower!!! Six more followers before Christmas and I will be able to make that $10 giftcard giveaway become a reality. =)

WINNER - Unacceptable Risk - Mandy B.!!!

Today's winner of a copy of Kaje Harper's Unacceptable Risk is Mandy B. (beyerlein@sbcglobal.net)!!! Email me at kchayes54@gmail.com to claim your prize.

For the rest of us, here's some pretty!!




Thursday, December 22, 2011

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

KAJE HARPER bringing fun for all.


Me: What, if any, winter holiday do you celebrate?
KajeWe celebrate Christmas at my house, with whatever members of the family we can persuade to visit us.  (Both my family and my husband's are scattered far and wide.)


Me: What is your favorite family holiday tradition/story/recipe/etc?
KajeI make a kind of cookie called Basler Lackerli – they are made mostly with ground almonds, honey and spices, and cut in squares.  They're a Swiss Christmas tradition, and something about the taste just evokes the holidays for me.


Me: What is your favorite that you have ever written?
KajeMy favorite literary child is actually a free one – Like the Taste of Summer.  I wrote the whole thing in one shot over the span of about a day (15,000 words – my neck was stiff from hunching over the keyboard.)  It just flowed more easily than anything I've written before or since.  And I think it's the most complete, smooth and self-contained story I have written.  If someone wants an introduction to my writing, that's a good place to start (and did I mention it's free?)

Just to be nice, I am giving you a link to find Like the Taste of Summer! Click here to read it or here to download it as a part of Don't Read in the Closet Vol. 2  anthology. But first we have a giveaway and an excerpt for you. =) 


If you didn't sign up for the whole event, comment below to be signed up to win a copy of Kaje Harper's Unacceptable Risk. Entries close 12/23 at 9 pm EST.


Unacceptable Risk



Blurb

Simon Conley was born a werewolf, making him one of a tiny minority in a sea of vanilla humans. The safety of the pack lies in absolute secrecy, sometimes violently enforced. In a species where pack-members are born and not made, being gay is considered a perversion. So when Simon falls in love with a human man, he's twice damned. Even his Alpha's grudging tolerance may not be enough to shield him from the hatred of the other top wolves. Then his lover Paul stumbles across pack secrets Simon was sworn to keep, and if the pack finds out, they may both end up dead.


And now a little more from Kaje. =)

Winner - The Christmas Package - Judi and Aniamloverhissy

Judi and Animaloverhissy1 you are the winners of today's drawing for copies of Megan Derr's The Christmas Package. Email me at kchayes54@gmail.com to claim your prize!!


And for the rest of you, here is some more pretty!!




On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Megan Derr with stories of hitmen at the holidays!


Megan has been telling herself stories from the moment she knew how, and liked to pretend to read books before someone finally taught her how to read for real :3  These days, she writes the stories down in the hopes of amusing others as much as she amuses herself.


And now, Megan tells us a little about how she celebrates the holidays. =)


Me: What, if any, winter holiday day do you celebrate?
MeganChristmas ^__^ My family has been big on Christmas for as long as I can remember. We're more casual now than we used to be, but it still means a lot to us.


Me: What is your favorite family holiday story/tradition/recipe/etc?
Megan: My favorite tradition is one we don't actually do any more. Growing up it was a tradition amongst my three siblings and I to wake our parents up Christmas morning—as creatively (and horrifically) as possible. We were horrible children, thinking about some of those mornings. One of the last years we followed the tradition, we put radios everywhere and set them to play at the same time—in the doorway to their bathroom, in the main doorway, we even went outside and put one in the window. Then the music came on at full volume and two unamused parents were suddenly awake. The one in the window took them a few minutes to find :3

Me: What is your favorite holiday story and why? You can choose one m/m and one not if necessary. =)
Megan: M/M, The Spirit of Giving by Cat Kane. I reread it all the time, the cute and the angst and the cheesy, I love it. Everyone deserves a happy Christmas, whatever their faults and mistakes.

Non-m/m, the Gift of the Magi. However silly and impractical that couple might have been, each gave up the proudest thing they possessed to make the other happy.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WINNER - Snakeskin Boots - Laura M.

Congratulations, Larua M, you are the winner of Xara X. Xanakas' Snakeskin Boots. Contact me within 48 hrs at kchayes54@gmail.com to claim your prize!!!!


And, now as a consolation for those of you who didn't win, here is some more pretty. =)




Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Xara X. Xanakas bringing shifter fun for all!!!

In high school, Xara X. Xanakas shunned typing class assignments in favor of writing cliffhangers that would drive her friends nuts. She's been toying with writing ever since. A wide cast of characters, including a menagerie of shapeshifters, keeps pressuring her to write their stories, telling her about themselves at some of the most inopportune times. You can probably tell by her initials (~xxx~) that her stories trend toward the very graphic, NSFW, not for minors category. 

Her fine arts degree has been absolutely no help in the IT job she uses to pay the bills. She lives in Texas with her biggest fan and two cats.



And now for the interview portion of the post! =)


Me: What, if any, winter holiday do you celebrate?
Xara: We celebrate Christmas. Our families live close, so we usually visit my family on Christmas Eve and Spouse's on Christmas day. 


Me: What is your favorite family holiday story/tradition/recipe/etc?
Xara: When I was growing up, we didn't have any family nearby, so it was just us on Christmas. We'd make a full day of it, with presents in the morning and food all day. It wasn't always the best food–there were a few Swedish recipes Mom experimented with that were quite...uh...unforgettable? Dad would get out his accordion in the evening and play Christmas carols on it, and we'd drink egg nog or Glögg and sing along, badly.


Me: What is your favorite holiday story? You can choose one m/m and one not if necessary. =)
Xara: *blushes* I haven't read a lot of Christmas stories. I wonder why that is. I can say that my favorite Christmas movie is Yours, Mine, and Ours. It may not be a traditional Christmas movie, but it was always on during the holidays growing up. I loved watching it every year.

Monday, December 19, 2011

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

PIA VELENO sharing a wonderful Christmas interlude with us!!


Pia is a dirty girl, but she knows you're naughty too. Tongue in cheek, and everywhere else, Pia spends her time running nowhere, avoiding housework, and randomly quoting Placebo lyrics. Now that others are reading her stories, her husband no longer wonders about her obsession with gay men falling in love.


Here is what Pia is sharing with us today!!!

I'm not much for introductions, but this scene deserves one. This was originally written for Man Whore but that series took a sharp turn and this scene had to be cut. Enjoy this sneak peek of Adam and Morgan celebrating Christmas with Adam's family.

Sincerely,
Pia

~*~

“They love you,” Adam said. He'd dragged me out back while his family served up a Christmas dinner to feed a family three times as large.

“I don’t know why.” During Grace, I looked on like a deer in headlights, trying to remember each and every name of the dozen relatives around the table. At least no one complained that I didn’t fold my hands and say Amen.

“You’re adorable and you make me happy. Why shouldn’t they?”

I shrugged and stared out across the backyard. A swing set collected a dusting of fluffy white flakes and all I could think of was how I hoped we didn’t get snowed in tomorrow. I had no family moments, so this

“Morgan?” He touched my arm. As I turned to face him, he held out a small box. “Merry Christmas.”

WINNER Southern Winterland - Gabby!!!

The winner of today's drawing for a copy of Southern Winterland is Gabby!!! Email me at kchayes54@gmail.com within 48 hrs to claim you prize.


And just to share some pretty...here you go. =)




Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

TAYLOR V. DONOVAN visiting with holiday cheer!!!


Taylor V. Donovan is a compulsive reader and author of m/m romantic suspense. She is optimistically cynical about the world; lover of history, museums and all things 80s. She is crazy about fashion, passionate about civil rights and equality for all and shamelessly indulges in mind-numbing reality television. 

When she is not making a living in the busiest city in the world or telling the stories of gorgeous men hot for one another, Taylor can be found raising her two daughters and two terribly misbehaved furry babies in the mountains she calls home.


Me: Which, if any, winter holiday do you celebrate?
Taylor:I celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. Is November considered winter already? It is in my book, as it starts snowing in early October where I live ;-)
  
Me: What is your favorite family holiday tradition/recipe/story?
Taylor: I really don’t have any special traditions other than putting up the tree with my girls and having a conversation about significant events in the past year and what’s to come next. As far as our favorite recipe, Christmas Eve dinner, hands down. I probably should say recipes, as it is a lot of food. Rice, roast pork, ham, potato salad, “pastels”, all Puertorican style. Yummiest ever!

Me: What is your favorite holiday story (you can pick one m/m and one non-m/m if you need to) and why?
Taylor: For my favorite holiday story please stop by Chicks & Dicks :-) Other than that, I’m going to go the traditional route with this one and say A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. That money won’t buy you happiness theme does it for me every single time.

Me: What is your favorite thing that you have ever written and why (so we can all go out and buy it right now!!!)?
Taylor: I couldn't possibly choose!  Heatstroke and Six Degrees of Lust hold an exceptional place in my heart because they are my first published work and the story that got me my first contract respectively. I also have a couple of WIPs that are very special to me and can’t wait to share them with readers. But writing Southern Winterland made me realize how special the By Degrees universe is for me. Both Six Degrees of Lust and Southern Winterland are part of my upcoming series with MLR Press and working with characters like Mac, Sam, Remy, Chris, Braxton, Duncan and company is an absolute pleasure. Then there’s Logan Brandenburg, from the same series. He’s probably one of my favorite characters I've ever written. The boy is unique, to say the least. =)

Taylor has given me a copy of her story, Southern Winterland to give away!!


From the By Degrees Universe meet Christian and Remy, close friends who may be destined to be something else… 

Christian Murphy is out, proud and very often loud. 

Remy Benoit is an equal opportunity flirt, but he swears guys are not his thing. 

Different lifestyles had never interfered with their close friendship, but after too much alcohol and almost kissing under the mistletoe a year ago they’ve started to drift apart. 

A special holiday event brings the men together, and this time around they might have to acknowledge that mutual admiration and respect are not the only things making them seek each other out.

If you haven't signed up for the whole event, then post below to sign up for this drawing in particular. Entries will remain open until 9 pm EST.

And here you go with today's trivia question. The answer can be found on Taylor's website, so go explore! Email me at kchayes54@gmail.com with your answers for one entry in the mystery book drawing on Christmas Eve!

Trivia Question: What is Taylor's WIP that is not a part of the Six Degrees universe?

Also, don't forget to become a follower here to be entered in a drawing for a $10 giftcard on Christmas day!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

My mom and I have always done lots of fun stuff around the holidays--things that may not require lots of money (and might sound dorky to most people:) ) but over the years they've just become part of Christmas and the way we do things.

The cookies started when I was in high school. We'd just moved into a new house, it had a much bigger kitchen than the one before it, lots of counters, a big table for people to hang out and sit at...in fact, that table is in my house now since my parents moved again to a smaller house. That first Christmas, my freshman year in high school, my mom and I went a little nuts-o. We had this big house to decorate, lots of room to cook—let's just say it looked like the Martha Stewart winter special exploded in our front door and took over the entire house. :)

Our first attempt at cookies wasn't very successful. We mixed this god-awful radioactive green frosting, and brown of all colors. Yeah, brown. Obviously, that wasn't the intention. We had some red and green sugar sprinkles, and with the help of my friend John by the end of the night we had what looked like chia cookies. They tasted really good but they were butt ugly. Like, seriously butt ugly.

The next year, and the year after that and on and on we worked at our cookie decorating skills, bought new cookie cutters...until we finally had it down to an art. And the snowflake cookie was born.

There really isn't anything to it. Just a sugar cookie dough, some food coloring and a whole lotta time listening to wintery music and squeezing frosting out of ziplock bags. :)

So, I just used a standard sugar cookie dough recipe. I'm not the best at inventive baking. They all look about the same, just google sugar cookie recipe and you'll be good to go. The only thing I'd caution is to NOT use store bought dough. That dough, first of all doesn't taste as good, and second of all, it's formulated to rise and get puffy. Anything you cut out will look all bloated and ugly. I learned that the hard way after I tried to be lazy once. LOL. Never again.

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

SUMMER MICHAELS sharing fun with everyone!!


Today's guest author, Summer Michaels, wrote her first story in the second grade, about a car-stealing potato. Thankfully, men in love with other men keep her muse busy and satisfied now. With a belief that love should be shared no matter what the form, Summer enjoys telling stories of rowdy cowboys, reunited lovers, and steamy shifters. When Summer is not reading and writing, she enjoys camping, hiking, water rafting, and giving the old woman in a shoe a run for her money.


Me: What winter holiday, if any, do you celebrate?
Summer: Christmas! Every year my in laws and my parents come over early in the morning to watch my kids open their gifts. My mom and I also share a Birthday a few days before Christmas. We usually go out to eat with the family then as well.

Me: What is your favorite family holiday tradition/story/recipe/etc?
SummerOn Christmas morning my mom cooks Monkey Bread. I love it!! I love how it smells up the house! It is also tradition at my house to attend Christmas Eve service at our church. It is my favorite service of the year.

Me: What is your favorite holiday story? You can pick one m/m and one not if necessary. =)
SummerMy favorite non m/m story would be Elf on the Shelf! Such a great story! I just read The Christmas Throwaway by RJ Scott. I think it is my favorite mm Christmas story. I loved the characters and the plot swept me up. 

Summer is a great up and coming author. She has released one story as a part of the Hot Summer Days Anthology, Lucky Boy. You can download it for free on goodreads.com!

Summer has given me the first chapter in a project she is working on right now called "Bell Jar Memories." Read on and I am sure you will add Summer to your list of authors to be on look out for! Don't forget to read to the end to find the trivia question!

Bell Jar Memories Chapter 1 by Summer Michaels

"Well, I'll be damned. My eyes must be playing tricks on me. Look honey, that man sitting at our bar looks like our long lost friend Aidan Matthews." I looked up from my iced coke at the two older gentlemen in front of me. Lou Valentine and his partner Hector Garcia had their arms slung around the other's backs. Lou's left eyebrow arched over his Irish green eyes, as if daring to make another excuse as to why I hadn't returned any of their phone calls. 

"Hey guys, the place is packed tonight," I said looking around the Squall and trying to ignore their banter. 

"He even sounds like our Aidan," Hector gasped. Hector's Mexican decent gave him a beautiful caramel complexion, his eyes were the most beautiful shade of brown I had ever seen. The copper color made it hard not to stare into his eyes when you had a conversation with him. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

WINNERS - Sarah and m.lanz!!!

Sarah (sarahs7836@gmail.com) you have won a copy of Lissa Kasey's Inheritance!
Anonymous (m.lanz28@ymail.com) you have won a copy of Lissa Kasey's Reclamtion!


CONGRATULATIONS!!!!


Email me at kchayes54@gmail.com within 48 hrs to claim your prize. =)

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

LISSA KASEY visiting me and giving things away!!!


This is what Lissa shared with me when I asked her my holiday profile questions. =)


Holidays and I are sort of frenemies. My family celebrates Christmas, Santa, trees, big dinner and all. I show up for the food and drop off presents. As an individual with anxiety issues, and fear of crowds, the holiday season is terrifying and painful. 

Don’t get me wrong. I love the idea of it, selfless giving and all that. Being with family is great, though I live close enough to them to do that any time of the year. Unfortunately, this time of year means long lines, crowded grocery stores, and lots of traffic. Not great for someone who doesn’t like being around a lot of people. 


However, this time of year is great for writing since no one really expects me to be anywhere, so often you’ll find me quiet online because I’m penning the next great m/m novel. =)


Thursday, December 15, 2011

WINNER of Love on the East End - Marissa!!!

Congratulations to Marissa! You have won today's copy of Lily Sawyer's Love on the East! Get back to me within 48 hours to claim your prize!


Check back tomorrow to see what LISSA KASEY has to offer!!!

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

LILY SAWYER guest blogging on my blog!!!

Lily Sawyer has to credit her late mother for her interest in reading and writing. She used to take her to library and opened up to her the world of books. She took a writing class in an adult enrichment program and got hooked. She started off writing stories set in various fandoms she was interested in like Star Trek and Brokeback Mountain. After getting some encouragement from family members and friends, she finally decided it was time to write her own original stories. Lily recently returned to drawing and was in an art class. Also loves to garden and loves everything about nature. Including going to the beach and looking up at the stars.

You can find more information about Lily and her books on her blog.
Also, if you like beautiful hand-crafted jewelry check out Lily's Gems

Me: Which winter holiday, if any, do you celebrate?
Lily: I'm Jewish, so I celebrate Chanukah.

Me: What is your favorite family holiday tradition/story/recipe/etc?
Lily: I remember enjoying going around the neighborhood and looking at holiday lights. Sometimes we'd go into Manhattan to see Rockefeller Center. OR we'd go to the EAB building on Long Island, where we lived and see the big tree there. 

Me: What is your favorite holiday story? You can choose one m/m and one non if necessary. =)
Lily: I liked Carolyn Topols "Season of Change." It is the only story involving Jews that I can clearly remember reading, so far.

Me: What is your favorite thing that you have ever written?
Lily: I enjoy writing all my stories, but I have to say my fave so far is "Catch of the Day." It was fun bringing a merman to life. I'd never written anything in the fantasy genre before. It is published by Silver Publishing.

So there you have it....Go forth and purchase!!!

Now here is an excerpt Lily has been kind enough to share with us!!! Be sure to read all the way to the end for a chance to enter the trivia contest!

Love on the East End by Lily Sawyer


Blurb:

Gabriel Meyer’s restaurant is a dream come true, but he gets more than he expected when in the course of his business he meets William Thomas, owner of Rolling Hills Winery. Food and wine more than come together on the east end of Long Island as they discover just how complementary Gabriel and William really are. Their seeming paradise is disturbed, however, when they meet young Ben Stewart—a troubled teen who is being bullied at school over his sexuality. Can they help this young man and fight the intolerance that lies on the east end of Long Island, or will it consume them?

Excerpt:

Gabriel Meyers looked at the empty dining room of his brand new restaurant. He’d just opened the doors two weeks ago and already the place was packed every night.

While he loved the hustle and bustle of the lunch and dinnertime crowd, he appreciated the quiet the morning hours afforded him. He used the time to do all the paperwork and phone calls, which were a part of running a place like Maven.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Winner of Zombie Wonderland - Jibriel

CONGRATULATIONS, Jibriel!!!! You are the winner of today's drawing. Contact me at kchayes54@gmail.com with 48 hrs to collect your prize.


Come back tomorrow for guest author LILY SAWYER!!!! She will be giving away a copy of her book Love on the East End and sharing an excerpt. Get Excited!!! =)


PS I know I said Summer Michaels earlier. I just finished my finals tonight and my brain made a mess of my scheduling spreadsheet. Don't worry...Summer will be here later on. =)

One the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

My first guest author and the kick off my 12 Days of Christmas Extravaganza is.....PIPER VAUGHN!!! To get us started I asked Piper (and each of my other guest authors) to answer a few holiday themed questions for us. =)


Me: What winter holiday, if any, do you celebrate?
Piper: I celebrate Christmas. I was raised Catholic, though I'm not anymore, and it's so deeply ingrained that I know I will always celebrate it. Besides that, all of my family is still Catholic, too, so there are always celebrations. =)


Me: What is your favorite family holiday story/recipe/tradition/etc?
Piper: When I was young it was getting together at my grandparents' house because the entire extended family would converge on them and it was great getting to see all of them. Once my grandparents moved to Puerto Rico after they retired, that tradition died and we never really started another one. Now we alternate what we do, including what food we make. So I suppose at the moment, aside from normally hanging out with the same cousins every year, our only tradition is that we have none. ;) My mom wants to start a new one this year of us all getting together on Christmas day, playing board games, watching movies, etc. Now that my brother is back--he lived in Hawaii for several years--I'm looking forward to it.


Me: What is your favorite holiday story and why? You can choose one m/m and one not if necessary. =)
PiperIn M/M, probably "Christmas with Danny Fit" by Amy Lane. I'm just a big fan of hers, and I loved everything about it. I don't really have a traditional favorite, though. I like "A Christmas Carol," but I'm ashamed to say I've only watched the film versions and never read the book itself.

Me: What is your favorite thing that you have written and why?
PiperHmmm...tough call. It would probably be a tie between "The Luckiest," which is the sequel to the book I co-authored with MJ O'Shea, "Moonlight Becomes You," and "One Small Thing," which was also co-authored with MJ, but is the started of a totally different series. No rockstars there. :) Neither of these books are released yet, but "One Small Thing" is due out in May, and we're waiting to hear back about "The Luckiest," but we're hoping for early 2012 for that one also. :)